The Transformers comic by Marvel was the first and arguably the best known Transformers comic. Although it was originally intended to be a 4-issue limited series, it expanded into an ongoing series, which ran for 80 issues before being cancelled. … see full wiki
On the metallic planet of Cybertron a race of intelligent robots exist. The planet was at peace for a time until an army was formed called the Decepticons. Lead by a powerful robot named Megatron, they began a war with another faction called the Autobots, who were lead by another powerful robot named Optimus Prime. The two armies battled in a very brutal war using advanced weaponry, but their greatest asset was their ability to change into vehicles and weapons. They would soon call themselves Transformers.
The war had become so fierce that the planet was knocked out of its orbit, and it was heading for an asteroid belt which would spell doom for its inhabitants. Optimus Prime lead a team of his best warriors on the ship called the Ark, to clear the asteroid belt for Cybertron to pass through. Megatron learns of their plan, and realized it was the perfect time to strike and destroy Optimus Prime, thus, breaking the morale of the Autobots. The Decepticons attacked their ship and it crash landed on Earth. The two armies remained dormant for four million years. Now, they have awakened to continue their war with the planet being the prize.
The rogue Autobot named Blaster has been captured by the Protectobots on the command of new Autobot Leader Grimlock, and he is to be brought back to Autobot Headquarters, The Ark, for his unnecessary punishment. On the way to base, they come under attack by the Combaticons and engage in a face off. The other rogue Autobot Goldbug formerly Bumblebee, is captured along with the Throttlebots by a human military unit called RAAT (Rapid Anti-Robot Assault Team) and are facing crimes against the human race. -summary
Classic Transformers Volume Threecontains issues 33 - 46, with 45 being only a summary due to copyright laws. This book of course continues this war between the two warring armies, and as the stakes are raised, new warriors for both sides appear attempting to help their comrades gain the upper hand. In my last review, I mentioned something about the comic series doing what the TV series rarely or if ever tried to do, which was take risk. Writer Bob Budiansky indeed does just that, as he attempts things that were considered taboo in American cartoons, such as good guys willingly fighting good guys, with intentions on killing one another. Due to the death of Optimus Prime, Dinobot leader Grimlock took up the mantle of leadership; his recklessness, stubbornness, arrogance, stupidity, among other things, had caused disarray within the Autobot ranks. The only ones who cared to follow his mindless leadership were the Dinobots. Now, his actions are pushing the Autobots on the verge of being forever divided, and this leads to a one on one confrontation with Blaster. During this time, the Decepticons are being very well lead by the alliance of Shockwave and Ratbat; and the Decepticons are having their way, by almost effortlessly accomplishing every mission they set out for, which results in Shockwave creating a heavily armed flying fortress.
There's a nice amount of good material here, as the perspectives are constantly switching to create new storylines and characters abilities. And once again, I enjoy how there's actually an explanation behind the appearances of the new characters, unlike the TV series where 95% were just there out of nowhere, when both sides were supposedly on the verge of extinction. Some of the new characters fled Cybertron to avoid the fighting, only to bring their war to another planet called Nebulos, and here, they would receive new forms by going through a bonding process with the humans on that planet. They would soon leave to join up with the main force and meet their brothers in arms for the first time. Fans of the TV series would probably guess that this chapter introduces the Headmasters and Targetmasters. In regards to the former, their heads transform into smaller robots, while the latter transform their weapons into robots as well, playing into the numbers game. I also enjoy how the impact of the Transformers war on other races is brought to light. Unlike the TV series, the humans see all the robots as a threat, and choose to prosecute the captured Autobots on the grounds of guilty by association, and they seek to truly execute them on live TV as an example to all the robots.
There's some good action panels on certain occasions with robots being blasted up pretty well, cut in two with swords, and even seriously impaled. Too much time really doesn't pass without action. The artwork feels way too dated, especially when compared to the real IDW Transformers. I sometimes found it hard to look at some of these characters. Some of them resemble their TV counterparts pretty well while some are altered, such as Soundwave actually having a mouth instead of his classic mouth guard.
Although the stories follow a plot with side plots here and there, which can have a gripping feel on occasion. The pacing kind of screw things up. For example, the book begins with a two part story which happens to be reprints of a UK Transformers story arc. This actually starts off the book and it just feels out of place since it doesn't pick up immediately after the second book. The story isn't bad though, since it features some brutal action moments, but someone who has bought into Blaster's situation, and Grimlock's tyrant-ish leadership may be put off. It doesn't stop there either, because issue 43 features another one of these breaks in the form of The Big Broadcast of 2006, which is only the comic version of the episode from season three. I never saw the point in this particular addition. Some other things bring this book down, like the focus on uninteresting human characters and extremely cheesy hero vs. villain dialog that made me cringe a little.
While going through these stories for the first time in years. I honestly believe only serious Transformer fans who followed it will like these. The character development can be pretty bad, as only the main players are really developed, but a fan of the TV series will have a ball picking out the characters. It really doesn't help things either that the Headmasters were better developed in their own limited series, which this book does not contain. Therefore people who aren't familiar with them will see them as just another batch of robots.
In closing, this is something I mainly recommend to true fans of the series, and those who read the first two books and liked it. For non and casual fans, don't go buying all the books assuming you're going to automatically love them because you loved the show. Try to get a free read of the first book, or only buy that one just to be on the safe side. Even as a fan, I found some of the stories here hard to get through.
Pros: -Good action, Some interesting stories
Cons; -Some bad stories too with dialog to boot, pacing problems
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Fun to Read
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